PNCR in crisis over Volda Lawrence, Aubrey Norton, others not picked for Parliament

Last Updated on Tuesday, 18 August 2020, 7:15 by Denis Chabrol

Attorney-at-Law, James Bond. (Guyana Chronicle picture)

The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR)- the largest party in the opposition coalition- on Tuesday appeared to be falling into a crisis over the omission of several key figures from the list of parliamentarians.

Attorney-at-Law, James Bond decried the absence of PNCR Chairman Volda Lawrence and executive members Aubrey Norton, Gary Best and Ryan Belgrave as well as himself and Jevaughn Stephens from the list of persons to represent the coalition in its 31 seats. The Alliance For Change (AFC) has already named its nine.

He was particularly upset that Ms. Lawrence was merely called and informed that she would not be a Parliamentarian rather than being consulted, although she is the  party Chairman and head of the PNCR’s Georgetown Branch that brought in about 57,000 votes at the recent general election.

FLASH BACK: President David Granger and Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence.

Bond, Lawrence and Norton have very vocal in the coalition’s stance that there had been numerous allegations of fraud, irregularities and anomalies in the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections but in a Facebook Live video on Monday night. In clear reference to PNCR Leader David Granger, Bond said “our leadership cost us an election…The reason we are in opposition is because of your leadership.”

While Mr. Granger has avoided conceding defeat, Mr. Bond said the “we lost the election because of leadership issues.”

Declaring that he does no recognise any other authority as his leader other than Lawrence, Bond targeted Granger and PNCR General Secretary Amna Ally.  “I  am going to say this right off, publicly. David Arthur Granger you are not my friend. Amna Ally you are not my friend so whenever you see me know that you are not looking at a comrade,” he said.

FLASH BACK: President David Granger is given a tour of the Madewini Training Centre by Presidential Advisor on Youth Empowerment, Mr. Aubrey Norton

Mr. Bond said he expected a backlash from the decision to ignore the “strongest team” who worked tirelessly but were not even given the courtesy of  being consulted about who should represent the PNCR’s segment in the coalition’s parliamentary line-up. Without naming former President Granger, Mr, Bond warned of “outrage”.  “Whatever comes at you, you have to take it going forward. You can’t expect to run rough shod over your strongest soldiers and not expect a battle from them,” he said.

Mr. Bond said the decision to exclude certain people from representing the PNCR in Parliament should  create the impetus for  a change in the entire leadership as “there is a Fascist leader  right now” . “Don’t quit. Now is the time for us to buckle down and take the leadership of the PNC and put it in the rightful hands. That’s the game plan,” he said. The time, he said, has come for the PNCR to have a proper leader who respects the Central Executive, its rules and the community, “not someone who is deaf.”

The practising Attorney-at-Law said a lot of persons who lost their regions are instead going into Parliament rather than those who have a constituency and are influencers.

When the PNCR lost the 1992 elections, then party strongman Hamilton Green had openly criticised then party leader Desmond Hoyte for the party losing power. Mr. Green was subsequently summoned to a disciplinary committee and expelled from the party. He later went on to form the Good and Green Guyana (GGG) party which had secured the plurality of seats in the Georgetown City Council at the 1994 local government elections.